When it comes to LPWA, Orange is undoubtedly one of the pioneering mobile operators. With what can best be described as an open-minded strategy, the group has adopted and trialled a number of different strategies and approaches. We caught up with Arnaud Vamparys, VP Radio Networks at Orange, about the latest developments in Orange's LPWA deployment strategy, city-wide LoRa deployments and technology investment.
Orange constantly evaluates new LPWA deployment strategies. Can you give us an update on what Orange is doing in this space?
Orange Labs has been evaluating several Low Power Wide Area technologies in 2014 to improve Internet of Things connectivity. We deployed beginning 2015 a LoRaWan network covering the Grenoble City and its surroundings. The solution deployed included a connection to the Orange Data Management Plateform called Datavenue. It was used to understand the technical aspect of LoRa Networks and as a tool to develop an ecosystem around LoRa. More than 100 enterprises signed the MoU and most of them came with specific LPWA use cases around sensors, actuators and trackers connected to this Smart City.
Orange is initiating ambitious city-wide LoRa network deployment projects in France, tell us about this.
Following the success of the Smart City pilot in Grenoble, the decision to move to a large scale LoRa network deployment in France was made to serve rapidly our B2B customers. The deployment started end 2015, it is covering now the 1300 cities including Top 18 with their suburbs and enable the support of many use cases linked to Smart City and Smart Building. In addition, additional LoRa coverage are deployed to respond to specific customer demand. For example dedicated coverage was done for service stations along motorways where several use cases are addressed by Vinci. We will cover 2600 cities beginning 2017 in France. Our deployment grid is dense with indoor and outdoor coverage. As Orange Business Services, we are ready to serve B2B worldwide demand relying on dedicated IoT LoRa network and Datavenue data management platform anywhere.
How serious is Orange about investing in licensed-spectrum technologies?
Orange is a leader in Europe for IoT/M2M solutions with more than 10 million connected objects.
We have been at the forefront of the standardisation phase of cellular networks IoT optimisation in 3GPP and now in the ecosystem development phase within the GSMA Mobile IoT Initiative.
As a mobile operator present in 28 countries in Europe and Middle East and Africa, Orange has been advocating both the evolution of 2G and 4G towards the IoT connectivity.
The adoption of the Mobile IoT solutions in licensed spectrum will complement the initial deployment of LoRa and enable some additional use cases from 2017.
Orange is currently undergoing several field trials of the 2G and 4G evolution focusing on LTE-M and EC-GSM-IoT with an end-to-end approach. We are specially focusing on the capacity to enable right connectivity for new connected objects, new wearables for our B2C customers.
What are you most looking forward to from LPWA Europe?
As a leader for Internet of Things in Europe, we would like first to share our operational B2B experience on LoRa.
We will take as well benefit of this event to further understand each player LPWA strategy, to look for promising products for our B2C customers and right vertical solutions for our B2B customers.
It is the perfect timing for each operator to develop cellular LTE-M and EC-GSM IoT ecosystem.
Thanks to our multi-techno strategy, our aim is to offer the best solutions to our customers and to reach 600 million Euros annual revenues on IoT in 2018.